Retro-µC 2021 Test Tape-out

Posted on zo 28 november 2021 in Retro-uC

I found some time to work on the Retro micro-controller again and perform a test tape-out in TSMC 0.35um technology. I was also contacted by Matt Venn for an interview. We agreed to also discuss this tape-out during the interview. This relieved me from the (in my eyes) boring …

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Open source mixed RTL synthesis

Posted on ma 06 januari 2020 in Retro-uC

Test designs

It has been some time that I posted here and it's one of my New Year Resolutions to be more active here. As reported in a presentation @ ORConf 2019 development of the Chips4Makers low volume ASIC manufacturing process is going on. Plan for this year is to do …

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The Retro-uC is death - long live the Retro-uC !

Posted on zo 25 november 2018 in Retro-uC

Retro-uC's death ?

Last month the Retro-uC crowdfunding campaign ended without reaching it's funding goal. I do regret that it did not reach it's goal but I did learn some things:

  • The typical retro-computing guy is not very interested in Arduino type maker stuff. He wants to assemble and program a …

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Retro-uC first time right - yes, we can

Posted on za 15 september 2018 in Retro-uC

This post is again about comments posted after launch of the Retro-uC campaign claiming it defies 'common wisdom' and thus is unrealistic. This time about the fact the project assumes the chip will work the first time; in the industry also as first-time-right. In order to explain what are possible …

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Startup costs and low-volume manufacturing

Posted on zo 02 september 2018 in Retro-uC

After my Retro-uC crowdfunding campaign was announced comments were made on social media that this project defied 'common wisdom' and therefor is not realistic. One of the comments was on the funding goal that was too low to make a custom ASIC. In this blog I want to go deeper …

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Retro-uC crowdfunding campaign launched on crowdsupply

Posted on zo 26 augustus 2018 in Retro-uC

I am delighted to announce that the Retro-uC crowdsupply campaign has now been launched. It has taken a little longer to straighten out the last hurdles in production and delivery but now the campaign is waiting for you. Together with the crowdsupply staff, the delay has also been used to …

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Motorola 68000 support complete in Retro-uC

Posted on zo 17 juni 2018 in Retro-uC

I'm happy to announce that now support for the Motorola 68000 in the Retro-uC is complete. It uses the ao68000 core to implement the Motorola 68000 instruction set.

As usual, it has taken more effort than originally planned. As the ao68000 already had a Wishbone interface used as the internal …

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Blink Demo

Posted on zo 29 april 2018 in Retro-uC


In order to show the progress I made on the Retro-uC a short video is presented with a demo with the Retro-uC running on an FPGA.

For the demo an Alorium XLR8, a Velleman VMA201 proto shield and a Dangerous Prototypes BusPirate V3.6 were used. On the proto …

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Chips4Makers @ FOSDEM 2018

Posted on vr 02 februari 2018 in Retro-uC

When writing this I am putting the last efforts in my presentations for FOSDEM 2018. I will have two presentations there:

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Retro-uC Campaign Product Options

Posted on wo 31 januari 2018 in Retro-uC

Finally I see a light at the end of the tunnel and is the launch of the Retro-uC campaign getting closer. In this post the different options for the campaign will be presented in their current state. Changes are still possible until the launch of the campaign. All feedback is …

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The Buzzword Article Part 3: Makers

Posted on zo 31 december 2017 in Retro-uC

In the third blog post in the discussion on buzzwords related to the Chips4Makers projects I will be talking about one that part of the name of the project.

The Hype

The two biggest movements that can be seen as the forefront of the maker movement are the Arduino and …

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The Buzzword Article Part 2: Crowdfunding

Posted on zo 26 november 2017 in Retro-uC

In this second part of the article covering buzzwords I will be discussing crowdfunding which is also hot at the moment. The phenomenon is likely already over the 'Peak of Inflated Expectation' in the Hype Cycle and on the way to maturity. For the Chips4Makers project and open source silicon …

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The Buzzword Article Part 1: Open Source

Posted on zo 12 november 2017 in Retro-uC

We live in a world with mass production and consumption of goods. In order to stand out from the pack and to sell a lot of things the marketing of the goods is an important part of doing business in this setting. For this marketing often buzzwords are used to …

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